Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Hit My Goal!!!

127---did you hear me---I WEIGH 127!! That was my goal!! Holy crappola!! I haven't been down here for 10 years!!

Thank you www.leannesslifestyle.com Coach David is a killer, but it works!!

And, thank you, Julie B for telling us all about that site!

The Coach wants me down to 125#, gotta run and pack my lunch.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Lora & Anne

Here are the girls that will be running together at next years Chicago Marathon at a 4:15 pace! (Rene are you in too??) We'll be sticking together no matter what!

I'm working on getting her to do Ice Age. I think I'm almost there ;)

p.s. This was her 14th Chicago Marathon!

p.p.s. She's skinnier than me--the sweater hides her fabulous figure!

p.p.s.s :::she's single!!::: don't tell her I told you!

Friday, October 27, 2006

Open Mouth, Insert Foot

Did I say no Ultras??? Was that me??? I must have been hysterical!!

I've entered the dark side, and there's no stopping now it seems!

I've been challenged by my crazy girlfriend, Anne, to join her in a 4:15 Marathon time next year. I plugged in that time into www.mcmillanrunning.com to find my long run, tempo run and speed run paces. I will work up to those times this year and shove that time in her face (lovingly, of course)!! :)

So...as for the ultra.....Ice Age 50K here I come!!!!

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Chicago Marathon Report

What a day!! I woke up at 4 am, didn't even need the alarm. Had a good night's sleep, which I was grateful for. All my stuff was ready from the night before, so I relaxed with my coffee and reading emails, blogs and such and then got ready.

The weather seemed to still be shakey. Hanging in the 30's with possible showers throughout the morning. My decision of longsleeves and shorts remained.

Drove myself into Chicago...parked close to the Hilton (paid $20 for that privledge) but I remembered last year when we parked in a less expensive lot quite the distance away. My legs were killing me walking to the car....never again I promised! Went into the Hilton--great scene. All the runners were roaming around, hanging out, stretching--the place had been taken over. Didn't see anyone so I hit the bathroom and then made my way over to the tent that was in the Charity Village designated for I-Runs, the program I signed up with.

Everyone was there. Parked myself on a bench with John (my pace leader for my first marathon)--he was a chatty cathy. He was still deciding what pace to run. He's slower than me, but I talked him into running with me at the 5:00 pace as we had decided a few weeks ago. (He never really pushes himself--so wasn't it my job to do it for him???) I felt good and decided the 5:00 pace was correct as I wanted to push myself too, even tho all the charts said I'd be closer to 5:15. I'd move on down if I needed to, but I've been soooo cautious this year due to all my buddies getting injured, so I wanted to see what I had in me finally.

I read somewhere that if you slather yourself in vaseline it would protect you from the wind, so I did just that. The last stretch of the marathon is along Michigan Ave--a real killer in this marathon, you begin to hit the wall and then the wind bashes into you--nothing like a good challenge to see what you've got in ya.

We went to the Start--John was so chatty he made friends with all the folks around us. I kept quiet and focused, and tried to stay warm. Todd was with us too....he was also chatting away. I was shivering, had a garbage bag around me but it wasn't enough. Heard the National Anthem being sung--that was new this year, we couldnt hear it last year, they must have added speakers...and we even heard the gun go off. Took 22 minutes to get to the start line--shuffling all the way. Todd found a mylar wrap on the ground from the Pig Marathon (the ground was full of discarded clothes) and wrapped it around me--great help, and I decided to save my mylar at the end of the race for next year.

Off we went. At around Mile 1, Todd said he wouldn't make it if he kept this pace so he was gone. Then at Mile 2, John had to pee (already????) and he went off into an alley. I was all alone!! A totally new experience for me. Last year I was with Rene and Haight, until Haight got brave around mile 21 and took off. Rene got me through the roughest part of the race, where I just wanted to sit down and complain to my Mom! No Rene, No Haight, No Todd, No John!! Holy Crap Batman!! I didn't consider this in preparation.

I decided to pretty much go into myself, ignore the crowds and stay focused on form, drinking, taking in gels and keeping the pace. Last year we all had our names on our shirts and were waving to the crowds (Haight had "Big Daddy" on his---oh boy did the women love that!!). I didn't have my name this time so it was easier to ignore everyone.

I stayed close to the 5:00 pace group. They had about 6 people with signs and red balloons attached, so even if they got a bit ahead of you, you'd still be able to see them. I ran through the different areas of Chicago, really loving "Boys Town". The boys were out like last year...dressed up as military, doing rifle dancing--dressed up as showgirls, strutting their stuff. Didn't see the "Village People" dress up group like last year. That area is always packed, it's probably the funnest place to watch the marathon besides the finish.

At 5 & 10 miles I had my GU with water from the water stops. Sipping on my water bottle between those miles. I felt good...no struggles at all. At around Mile 15 I started to slow down. I saw the red balloons creeping ahead of me. I decided to kick it in....told myself that I could make it back next to them in an hour without too much trouble. Kicked it in slowly, with a smidge of some trouble, but keeping to my plan.

I made it back to the 5:00 pace group at around Mile 20. I started looking for Haight and my son, David--the plan was they'd be between 20-21. Kept my eyes open, but didn't see them. And the pace group was getting away from me again. I knew I wouldn't be able to push myself back up to them, so I went to Plan B....goal of 5:15. I kept my eyes on my watch and kept that new pace. Did my GU as planned, every 5 miles, and I had no trouble. That is until Mile 21.

Warning...bodily functions about to be discussed! I was at my time of the month......that is, any day now I would be. So my tummy was squeaking out little cramps reminding me of that. I was able to ignore that..hey, I've delivered two babies and did one marathon--I can handle this little pain. But then my colon started squeaking. Well, I don't know about any of you, but the pain you get when you have the runs is brutal to me! I didn't know if it was my GU (chocolate with caffeine) that was doing it, or my menses starting. But i needed a portapotty. And, smart me, decided that I wasn't going to stop!! I had a goal, God Damn It!!

I suffered through the cramping, walking when it got really bad. I needed some help. So I decided to talk to my pals. I sang Happy Birthday to Sheila--twice. I chatted with my Dad and then I took out the big guns---RENE HELP!! She came back to me....all the words she spoke last year, like "This is fun! We're doing great!" came rushing through my mind. She kept me going. I imagined her next to me and just dug in. Mile 22, 23.....24---then I heard my name!

Haight and my son were there!! YAY!! I was miserable though....and my son was taping me on his phone (damn those phones). My first words were, "If I EVER talk about an ultra again, smack me hard!!" Haight asked me what I needed....." a toilet!!" "Anything else?" Yeah--CHOCOLATE!! I had filled a bag for him to bring and it had halloween sized Milky Ways. I didn't know if I would be aggravating my colon more, but I couldnt give a shit. It was like I was dilated to "10"--DON"T FUCK WITH ME! I ate the chocolate and struggled off....I think they were giggling (damn MEN!)

OK Lora, less than 2 miles, dig in hard and just do it. I thought of my blogger friends. How I so wanted to write a report I'd be proud of....I started writing it in my mind to keep my mind off the DAMN PAIN IN MY LEGS AND COLON!!! I thought of the portapotties waiting for me....it was a golden paradise for me at that point. No....that thought was too painful. I needed Rene again......so there she was....next to me, smiling at me, getting me to the Finish.

Up ahead was the biggest friggin mountain in the world....MOUNT RANDOLF!! Goddamn this mountainous Chicago!!! I walked up it--deciding that when I rounded the corner, I'd begin running (if that's what it was called at this point!). I made it up, turned the corner and the most beautiful sight in the world was up ahead. THE FUCKING FINISH LINE!!! I smiled, I thanked God and Rene and I ran in. I was thrilled.

I heard my name--Bonnie from my running club was on the right waving......Haight and David were on the left waving. I looked at my watch and it said 5:14--holy shit!! I did it!! I pushed and stepped over the finish!! Oh dear Lord, thank you for this beautiful day!! Got my mylar, a banana--scanned the food (yucky english muffins, fig newtons)---yeah, that's what my colon needed---arrghhhh! I finally found my heaven, the porta potty....and felt much better.

5:14:49 That's me!

(The pics above----me at Mile 24--plenty miserable. And then that evening, meeting up with the bloggers at Goose Island Brewery--Elizabeth was entertaining me, and that's my son, David, on the right.)

Monday, October 23, 2006

Chicago Marathon

Finish time: 5:14:49------- 31 min PR!!

Very sore!! This may be the end of my road running days! Off to the trails!!

BUT---I finally hit the 120's in weight!! Holy Crap!! Now I know, all I have to do is run 5 hrs to get there!!!!!!!

Report to follow......time to ice and drink water......

Saturday, October 21, 2006

I've Sowed...Now to Reap!

The Marathon Expo........

Guess who I found there?? Sweet and adorable Elizabeth!! I recognized her as we were roaming around! She is such a sweetheart. And, of course, how could anyone miss Todd, who stands like 8 feet tall!!!

I still have no clue how the weather will be. Rain, snow, 40's, 30's--good ol Chicago. I'm planning on shorts and a long-sleeved shirt with dry reinforcements coming at mile 21 (Thanks to Haight and my son, David). Then they'll hang out at the Hilton bar, along with about 20,000 others, until I finish!

Oh, and yeah.....I'm shooting for 5:00 if all goes well. But I'm always happy just to finish with no injuries!! WOOHOO!!!! Isn't life great??!!!!

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Farmdale Trail Run

It was a beautiful day! Well....let me back up to Friday morn. I got an email from my ultra pal, Kent, stating that he hoped I made a mistake in my blog cuz the race was Saturday NOT Sunday! Holy Crap!! After checking the Race homepage I realized I must be under way too much stress to have made a mistake like that!!

I rearranged my plan for food and water for that day and asked the Princess if she was available on Saturday instead of Sunday. No problem! Whew! Cancelled movie plans for Friday night, and stayed in, got my stuff put together and hit the sack early.

Woke up at 3 am, had my coffee, got dressed, stirred the Princess and off we went. A boring 3-hr drive. Steph brought her pillow and blanket, cuddled up in the front seat and was out in no time. I had to bounce around a few times, sing out loud and pinch myself to stay awake.

Made it to the race 45 mins before race time. Got my goodie bag, race number (#4---boy did I sign up early or what??) and headed back to the Jeep. It was freezing out! I had planned on wearing shorts and a short-sleeve shirt, but luckily the race tee was a long-sleeved technical one, so that went over my shirt and kept me warm throughout the race.

Dave Tapp, the RD, made a little speech. Where was the Start line, someone asked? "See those two trees," he said, "right between them". Gotta love the laid-back atmosphere of trail running!! There was an 8-miler and a 33-mile race starting together and running along the same path for a few miles, then a split off. I was only doing the 8-miler as I have the marathon next week. My plan was to run this race very comfortably, word was there were hills, rocks, roots and little streams to get through and I didn't want to stress my legs out too much.

I ran at the back-of-the-pack and was quickly with the last two runners. The path was mostly a single track, rocky and rooty, winding through the woods, open fields, across two streams and up and down small hills. You couldn't take your eyes off the path, or you'd risk falling flat on your face! I love this stuff!! I had totally forgotten to set my garmin, and I noticed there were no mile markers, so I just went with the flow--it was such a cool feeling to not think about that--just me out there with Mother Nature and a few other crazy people, enjoying the morning fresh air!

What a blast!! We ran through two aid stations, the first had three adorable little kids with pink noses and cheeks, trying to stay warm by jumping up and down. Dad (found out later it was Jason Zimmerman there--darn, wish I said HI!) was very friendly and helpful--I grabbed some pretzels, took a swig from my water bottle and headed off. There was a bunch of downed trees on the trail that you had to climb, jump over or use the teeter-totter provided to get over. I made it across the small streams without getting wet (yay Montrails!) The second aid station I hung out a few extra minutes. A handful of sweet men were there, chatting with the runners. They told me I could continue on if I wanted and I was so tempted, but I held myself back knowing it wouldnt be a smart move for the marathon.

Finished up the last two miles winding in and out of easy-marked trails. The RD did a great job of marking the trail...every time I looked up I saw the friendly yellow ribbon to remind me I was on the right path. The last marked trail said "most difficult"---ahhh the RD has an evil side to him, I like that! That was a fun stretch! Moved aside to let some of the ultra runners through, each making a kind remark.

Ran in towards the finish line, smiled purty for the photographer and got my bling-bling from the RD. Told him how beautiful this trail was and that I plan on being back for the Ultra next year. He was very kind and gracious. This was the inaugural race, so I MUST come back each year, don't I??

Went through the Chow Tent....subway sandwiches, chili, soup, pretzels, corn chips, fig newtons, bananas and Pop was set up. I grabbed some yummies, glanced at the giveaway table (hats, shoes, visors) but didn't see my name so I mosied on to the Jeep. Steph complained of a tummy ache so I gave her my pop and headed home.

A wonderful morning was had by all!! A great big shout out to Dave Tapp, for putting together a beautiful race, very well organized, to my beautiful daughter for keeping me company, but mostly, to Kent, for making me realize the race was today!!! Whew!!

Juli A and Lora

Two Alpine Runners!


Fashionable Ultra Folks

Formal Announcements by RD

Monday, October 09, 2006

Mom's Thighs

They say you don't get to pick your parents. But when it comes to Mothers, God definitely blessed me. Yes, she it the typical NY Jewish Mother...advice on life, loves to talk and a bad cook. Listening to her Brooklyn accent (which I've basically worked hard to lose--though I still have some words I have to concentrate on--> arrow, orange and kaufman) warms my heart and she is a wonderful role model on how to enjoy your elder years. She is always telling me of the museums, operas, books and lectures she has gone to/read. I'm just so proud of her.

What I could have done without, though, was her thighs. It was always a challenge in my life to lose them, and I finally got to a point a few years ago of accepting them. Well, guess the freakin what??!! They are disappearing!! Right before my friggin eyes!! Go figure!! Oh running gods out there---I do so love and adore you---thank you for all the blessings you have bestowed on me!!!

I ran 12 miles with me ol running group, The Alpine Runners, back up in the NW suburbs on Saturday. My first time back there since I was recruited to the lakefront for the Half Marathon Program in July. It was great to be back running with my pals. These runs are all on the streets, different than the lakefront which has a nice trail path, but my legs had no problems. The orthotic I got made last year has been one of the best investments so far! That, and of course, my shin and calf exercises/stretches which I consistently do.

We caught up on all the gossip and on each others lives. I miss these gals. Though I'm still waiting for Rene and Todd to return. And, of course, one day even Haight!!!

I ran 5 miles this morning down and up the ravines. I'm walking less and less up these hills, feeling stronger and stronger as each week passes. I'm supposed to be tapering now for the Chcgo Marathon, but I'm doing some nice strong runs--only 3 times this week though. I think I'll get myself back into swimming between the runs to make sure my body stays put together. I havent hit the pool since my triathlon back in July! And I will add a Vit C tablet along with my regular Multi Vitamin, just to make sure no viruses get thru.

This Sunday I have an 8-mile Trail Race 3 hours south of my home. My precious lil daughter said she'd go with me...."We have to leave at 4am" I told her (she's 19--she'll probably be coming home around that time!).....but she's still in. Soo, I think I'll ask the RD if she can volunteer at a water stop....who knows, maybe she'll get the bug to get into shape (a mother can dream.....I'd really be happy if she just shows up!!)

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

During the Race

Making our way down Lake Shore Drive at around Mile 9.

Our Little Group

Caroline, Erin, Me, Maria, David & Chris...the Saturday morning group just before the race!!

Monday, October 02, 2006

Chicago Half-Marathon

What a blast I had!! I got there early-- 6:15 for a 7:30 race. Thought that would be real early, but nope----plenty of people already there! I was so surprised! With 10,000 people signed up and 7,000 of them new runners---it was amazing they were rearing to go!! What a great city!!

I wore the new shorts from New Balance and was a bit worried about chafing (rule no 1 for any race is nothing new!!) so I gobbed myself up with Glide--actually the shorts felt nice and comfy. The shirt was the one I had been wearing for training, so no worries there. I made my way to the RoadRunners tent and saw.....The sign I'd be carrying.... whew, it was light and small. Beth, my "running boss" also told me to pass it over to runners next to me thruout the course---great idea!! I saw all my runners prepping at the tent--got some pics, but missed pics with the brother and sister. I hope to see them out on the lakefront so I can take one of them down the road.

Beth led all the pace leaders to the start line. That felt so strange---we were a line of people in the same outfits with our numbered signs walking in a row. People were commenting to their friends, pointing us out--we were celebrities!! I lined up by my spot and runners immediately came over to me and asked about the pace, was I walking at all, how was I doing the water stops. My plan was to run an 11:20 pace consistently except for water stops. Those I would walk thru. Beth gave us all a whistle---I blew it every time I stopped at the water stops, and every time I began again.

I had five of my own runners with me from the training program and a bunch from Kathy's group, the pacer ahead of me in training. (They were the young wild girls!! So fun!!) A bunch of other runners kept close around me and we made lots of jokes and screamed up until Mile 9ish. I got great support with the sign, Erin, Caroline and Yan wanted to hold it, so I got some breaks. David, another of my runners, stayed close behind me--close enough that I could hear his panting for miles to come. We all screamed when the first runner past us---male of course, and I told them to keep an eye out for the first gal. We all went crazy when we saw her....she looked at us like we were nuts. I love this job!!!!

As we ran along, I was disappointed that three of the water stops did not have any gatorade. I don't know if they ran out or just didn't plan for it at those stops. Well, it turned out to be a beautiful day, with the sun beating down on us while we ran down Lake Shore Drive--temp probably hit the high 60's. My runners needed salt!! I was a bit worried. As soon as we hit gatorade, I yelled out for them to drink it as much as they could. I knew I had to pull in the silliness and get them to focus.....this could be tough without sodium.

They continued on quietly for the next few miles. I didn't hear David's panting anymore. I encouraged them to run tall, no death marching on my shift! Arms close to your bodies, no waving or yelling at the crowds....dig in deep and keep moving. Don't even smile---wastes too much muscle energy! They were listening....they kept at it. That was until we saw the ambulance!

At around mile 12, a gal was on the ground. Paramedics were tending to her with oxygen and she looked pretty limp. I yelled back at everyone not to look, that she would be fine. But I think they started to dwindle away. 100 feet later, there was a man on the ground--people all around him waiting for the paramedics. That was the kicker. I yelled back that he just needed sodium, but I lost my group. The mental hit was too much. The group around me was gone, and I basically ran alone the last mile, picking up a few runners along the way. My finish time was 2:29:22---a bit too fast!!!!

I waited after I hit the finish line......and along came Chris!!! One of my runners!!!! YAY!! He made it in!! We hugged--I was just so proud of him! He had been struggling for a few weeks with leg pain, but he figured it out and felt fine. I plan on bugging him towards the marathon next year. :) Then I saw Maria--YAY!! Naughty Maria had three rum n cokes the night before, "You told me to do just what I do every Friday night!" Silly girl--but she made it, whew!!!!

I started to feel a bit dizzy, so I hit the bananas and pretzel tables and went back to the tent. The rest of the runners made it over bit by bit. I was just so proud of them. I hope they will be back on the lakefront....some of them want to cheer me on at the Marathon. How cool is that! This pacing was such a wonderful experience, I highly recommend it! Now on towards the rest of Marathon training!!!

We Finished Right On Time!!

Me and John, the man that was my pace leader when I was in training for the marathon, and this races 2:40 pace leader--right behind me, with our new bling-bling!